US cop show borrows a page from Strauss-Kahn case

21st September 2011, Comments 0 comments

A new season of "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" begins Wednesday on NBC television with a storyline that might sound familiar to a certain French politician.

Italian-born actor Franco Nero will guest star as "an arrogant, high-ranking French diplomat accused of sexually assaulting a Sudanese hotel maid whose credibility soon comes under scrutiny," TV Guide magazine said on its website.

The plot mirrors Dominique Strauss-Kahn's brush with a Guinean chambermaid who alleged he had raped her in a New York hotel suite, only for the case to collapse when prosecutors questioned her truthfulness.

The "Law and Order" franchise has a reputation for ripping its plots from the headlines, with the original series, cancelled in 2010 after a 20-year run, borrowing freely from the Tawana Brawley rape case in its early episodes.

Brawley, an African-American teenager at the time, alleged in 1987 that she had been raped by six white men, including police officers, but her claims were rejected by a grand jury that concluded she made up the story.

Set in New York, "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" started shooting its new season in July, two months after then-IMF director Strauss-Kahn was arrested on charges of sexually assaulting chambermaid Nafissatou Diallo.

With criminal charges dropped, Strauss-Kahn appeared on French television over the weekend and acknowledged "a moral failing" on his part. He still faces civil proceedings that are set to begin later this month.

© 2011 AFP

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